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England make it double gold

03 July 2002

England won their second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with an epic five-game victory in the men's table tennis doubles.

Andrew Baggaley

Baggaley helped to bag a gold

England's Andrew Baggaley and Gareth Herbert were level pegged with Ryan Jenkins and Adam Robertson of Wales, for five games finally winning 17-15 in the fifth.

Baggaley commented: "We expected a tough game. We've had several close games and didn't think this would be any different."

England took the opening game, but Wales came back to win the second and third, with a few fortunate net cords going their way.

England made a good start in the fourth, until a controversial ball which clipped the table edge to let Wales back into the game.

Time outs were called by both coaches and despite Herbert netting a number of shots on crucial points, England held on and took the fourth 11-9, forcing them to go into the decider.

The fifth started with a yellow card for England for running over time getting back on court. They were 4-1 down and after a netted forehand by Baggaley England's chances of gold appeared to be fading.

Both teams had their chances in the final game which lasted a marathon ten minutes. Wales had three match point opportunities, but England won it on their fourth, after Jenkins made two returning errors in a row.

Ryan Jenkins of Wales commented: "It was terrible play. We had three or four match points. All credit to them though. There was nothing in it. It was the winning point and that's what matters. One point decided it in the end. But congratulations to them."

Herbert and Baggaley collapsed to the floor before jumping for joy at their second gold.

On how it felt to take the gold medal Herbert suggested: "Incredible. We've been training so hard for this - in Nottingham and Spain. It is a great atmosphere. There are not too many times that you get to play the Commonwealth Games in your own country. It's a fantastic feeling."

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